Posts by: robertr

Review: Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900: A Story of Race, Sport, and Society

Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900: A Story of Race, Sport, and Society, by Lorenz J. Finison, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2014. During the last two decades of the nineteenth-century Bostonians pedaled bicycles and tricycles on streets, specially made tracks, and in public parks. Home to nationally circulated cycling journals and major bicycle manufacturers, Boston became […]

Unequal in the Eyes of the Law – Response: At What Cost? Marriage Law in the United States

The morning of June 26, 2013, I sat cross-legged on the floor, anxiously toying with the engagement ring on my left hand and refreshing the various news sites open on my laptop. I thought, with outrage, that if the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) was upheld, my wedding ceremony would be nothing more than a […]

American Dialogues: Unequal in the Eyes of the Law

One unarmed black man strangled, a second unarmed black man shot. These recent horrible events have forced most Americans to become momentarily aware of the powerful relationship between the law, law enforcement and identity. Community leaders and national newspapers are calling for reduced enforcement of low-level crimes – a reversal of the “broken-windows” police policy […]

Lauren Bacall: An Appreciation

I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t discover Lauren Bacall until my early 20s.  I know that I must have seen at least one of her movies before then, but the first clear memory I have of connecting with her work is watching The Big Sleep when I was 23.  I didn’t know it at […]

American Visual Culture in Context: A Symposium in Honor of Professor Patricia Hills

On a rainy Saturday afternoon toward the end of Patricia Hills’ last semester at Boston University, her colleagues, peers, and students gathered together to celebrate her distinguished career. A symposium that included the presentation of papers by former students, as well as celebrations by colleagues and friends, it was a fitting sendoff for someone who […]

Anna Julia Cooper’s A Voice from the South, By a Black Woman from the South

Anna Julia Cooper’s A Voice from the South, By a Black Woman from the South Deconstruction of the White Aesthetic Gaze Historically, African Americans have viewed the literary canon as a space for resistance, and for the expression of political thoughts on racial uplift.  Within the contours of language, black writers and intellectuals have established […]

Living the Revolution: Italian Women’s Resistance and Radicalism in New York City, 1880-1945

Guglielmo, Jennifer.  Living the Revolution:Italian Women’s Resistance and Radicalism in New York City, 1880-1945.  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press, 2010. Jennifer Guglielmo subverts the stereotype of the domestic Italian immigrant woman with her study of multiple generations of feminine political activism for the working class in Living the Revolution:  Italian Women’s Resistance […]

A Word From Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio.

A Word From Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio. By Cynthia B. Meyers, Fordham University Press, New York, 2014, 391 pages. We all know advertising pays for much of our popular media.  Anyone in danger of forgetting this crucial fact is sure to be reminded by the television industry’s increasingly desperate […]

Our Nixon: An Interview with Director Penny Lane

Our Nixon, the latest film from director Penny Lane, attempts to shed light on a story that we all think we know, that of the Richard Nixon presidency, and the Watergate scandal that eventually led to his resignation. The “our” in this case, is not the American public, as President Nixon’s legacy and public image […]

There is Nothing to Forgive: An Interview with John Ridley

12 Years a Slave is a beautiful, horrifying, and challenging film. It is the story of the capture and enslavement of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York, after he is duped into taking his violin performances dangerously close to the border and slave states on a promising concert tour. He quickly finds […]